Monday 18 January
San Seb came so close to making it a dream comeback to racing when he went down by the smallest of margins, and in the bravest of ways in Leicester last week. Paddy Brennan had ridden him for the first time when the pair were third in a handicap hurdle in Wincanton on their previous start, and he learned an awful lot about him, and was keen to renew the partnership. Paddy felt that very soft ground was key to Seb, and that he couldn't have it deep enough - so races in Ffos Las and Leicester were targeted - sadly Ffos Las was abandoned just minutes before the off time of the first - and in hind sight, what a shame that was as we all asked ourselves after the Leicester defeat - 'how far would he have won by down there?' When that didn't come off - it was off to Leicester in a much stronger heat - but Seb was in fine form, and ready to run. Despite the hotter heat, Paddy was very keen on is chances, and even gave a brief paddock interview for his owners before the run, which was instantly beamed to them via Whatsapp, stating that he thought Seb was improving all the time, and that he felt that he had a great chance. All went well through the race - jumping and travelling great Seb found himself in front on the crown of the home bend, and then got locked in a battle with one other all the way up the home straight. He hit the front after the last, but just lost out in a bobbing finish at the line to finish second. It was such a brave run, and everyone was so very proud of him, Seb has to be very carefully managed and it is some effort by the team at Ravenswell Farm, and at Jason Maguires Ivy Lodge Farm to get him back to running a personal best. With Jason's facility just down the road, it would be madness not to make full use of it, so after such a hard race, Seb has made the trip there for a few days to go in the water treadmill and spa. This really does aid recovery, and has been vital in Sebs comeback to date. He will be out again in around 3 weeks, in suitably testing conditions, and it is hoped he can go one better next time. Volkovka is in fine fettle, and between ourselves, Fergal, Paddy and Connor we will select the next suitable race for her. She has surprised in her ability to handle very testing ground, which has opened up a few more opportunities for her. Yauthym had an entry in a maiden hurdle in Fakenham this week, and we also put her in a couple of jumpers bumpers in Lingfield, but having tracked the declarations for each heat - we decided to be patient and wait for a race we have had in mind for some time. She has been ready to run since Christmas, but patience is the key to maximising winning opportunities, and is a model we have used for years, and continue to do so. At Fences Farm - Classic Ben will have an entry in a 3m chase in Ascot on Saturday. Blue Bikini will have an entry in Taunton on the same day. She has had treatment for ulcers, but hasn't really stopped - so is ready to run. Go Millie Go is back cantering after the same treatment for ulcers, but will not be seen for a few weeks, along with Our Bubba, who had the same problem. In Olly Murphys, Auditoria is doing nothing but please, she really is a charming filly, she has settled in well, and has schooled great. As we know, she came from France looking very lean, and is starting to put on weight now. With this in mind Olly has been very gentle on her, but she is doing plenty of cantering, and jumping. She should be making her hurdling debut in the next few weeks, and with the level of improvement there looks to be in her she isn't just a juvenile hurdle project - she is certainly one for the longer term as well, and will be managed as such. Shares in her syndicate - 'The Audrey Army' are going fast, with three new members joining the ranks over the weekend. We wish Sophie, Ben and Lewis the very best of luck with this lovely girl - and look forward to seeing them as soon as we are all able to get out and about again. Please get in touch if you are interested in having a share in her - they are priced at just £600 (with a flexible payment plan available) plus £25/week all inclusive training/keep fee. Our young stock continue to impress. The 3 yr old Camelot filly, a full sister to Grade 1 hurdler Gardens Of Babylon is spending a few weeks being lunged and long reined, and kept warm, and out of the worst of the winter weather. She is progressing really well, and is For Sale. The 3 yr old Mamool will head in to Charlie Poste next month to do his 'secondary school', this way he can be back at The Elms and get the benefit of some late spring/early summer grass, before it loses its goodness - he has developed into the nicest of horses, and looks to be an ideal type to make his debut as a 3 yr old later this year - so he will be syndicated on his return from his latest spell in training. Two yearlings are entered in the Goffs UK sale which was due to take place this month, but has been postponed until next. They are both really nice individuals - and both by very 'in demand' sires - in Blue Bresil and Jukebox Jury. I can't wait to offer them. Please get in touch if you are interested in any of the horses we have for sale, or any of the share options that we currently have - we will also be adding another syndicate to the team shortly - so stay tuned for that as well!! All in all - exciting times, and we are very lucky to be able to have our horses run through these very tough times - it gives us all a welcome relief. Hopefully this latest lockdown, and the roll out of the vaccine will enable us to get back to some sort of normality soon.